Report from the Dock
As we slide into July, walleyes have become even more challenging with bug hatches, very warm weather, and increasing water temperatures all playing a part in noticeably slower walleye activity this week. The key now is to cover water with live-bait rigs or crankbaits on deep weedlines or main lake structure in 15 to 25 feet or so, ultimately picking off those aggressive fish. Jiggin’ Raps or jigs and plastics also are producing some walleyes along shallower weedlines early and late each day. With significant rain in some areas, river fishing has improved with current breaks, inlets, and outlets holding a mixed bag of fish. Muskie reports have improved in many locations, although there still doesn’t seem to be a whole bunch of anglers chasing them – bucktails or topwater baits seem to be the best bet over weeds this week. Weeds are now thick and green and they continue to provide some excellent mixed-bag fishing opportunities. Look for crappies to be most active during the evening hours, while bluegills, bass, and pike are going during the day along weeds.
LAKE MILLE LACS
With the walleye season now closed, angling pressure has dropped off quite a bit. Smallmouth bass remain active hitting plastics, jigs, and crankbaits on the deeper rocks, reefs, and rock points. There hasn’t been much for muskie fishing activity and you will hook a few pike with rattle baits on the weedlines in most bays.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Good walleye fishing continues across the south shore, especially near the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap, and Garden Island in 8 to 10 feet. Big numbers of walleyes are also staged over the 25- to 31-foot mud. Most anglers are drifting or trolling harnesses (spinners) with crawlers or leeches, while some fish are still being caught jigging on structure or rock-to-mud transitions. On the Rainy River, sturgeon season opened on July 1, you’ll find smallmouth bass in rocky areas, pike are cruising weedy bays, bay mouths and current breaks, and walleyes are hanging out in 20 to 25 feet. At the Northwest Angle, guests can travel across the lake and stay in Minnesota waters until the border is open.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Muskies have become more active on the 14- to 20-foot weed flats at Lake Independence and Lake Minnetonka. You’ll catch bass with plastics along the 6- to 12-foot weeds and walleyes with spinners and leeches along the deep side of the weeds on Minnetonka and Independence. Work the milfoil pockets for sunfish and the tops of the 18- foot weeds for a few crappies on Minnetonka.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Walleye action has slowed since last week and anglers are finding them to be more spread out over 25 to 30 feet. Cover water with a Lindy Rig tipped with leeches or crawlers. The rocky shorelines continue to produce smallmouth bass on topwater baits or Senkos. Muskie anglers are seeing mostly small fish, although the occasional big fish is raised with a bucktail on the points in 10 to 15 feet. Hit the weeds in Stuntz Bay or Rice Bay for northern pike in less than 10 feet.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
The deep, main-lake structure such as bars and humps continue to produce the most walleyes. Live-bait rigs with crawlers or leeches are working best in 18 to 28 feet. Some anglers continue to catch walleyes on crankbaits during low-light periods in less than 15 feet as well. Northern pike are an easy catch in the weeds or most walleye-holding spots and bigger perch continue to be found on deep structure in 30 feet or more.
Walleye action has been a bit slower and the key now is to cover water throughout main lake structure. Crankbaits or some form of live-bait rig with crawlers have worked best in 15 to 20 feet. Muskie action has been most productive with bucktails along the weedlines in Sucker Bay early and late each day. Hit the reeds or cabbage patches in the bays for largemouth bass.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Live-bait rigs with minnows are turning walleyes on the 20- to 30-foot mid-lake reefs and breaks. Some fish remain shallow and can be taken with a jig and leech, especially if the wind is blowing on the 5- to 10-foot weeds. Tubes or topwater baits are producing smallmouth bass on the 8- to 15-foot rocks and you’ll find bigger pike suspended over structure in 20 to 40 feet.
RainyDaze Guide Service (218) 290-6102
Walleyes are being caught along the north shore in 8 to 11 feet on spinners tipped with crawlers, leeches or shiner minnows. The edges of the rock pile, about four miles out in the middle of the lake, also is giving up walleyes on live bait in 11 to 13 feet.
West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998
Twin Cities Metro
Anglers fishing from shore at Tanner’s Lake are catching pike and catfish. Hit the 10- to 14-foot weeds on Lake Jane and Lake Owasso for northern pike, while Demontreville Lake and Jane continue to produce largemouth bass. Look for suspended crappies over 15 to 20 feet on Big Marine Lake or for sunfish off the piers at Silver Lake, Powers Lake, and Beaver Lake.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
The deep pockets in the Watertown area of the Crow River are producing walleyes on jigs tipped with minnows or plastics. The sunken hump on Parley Lake and the south end of Lake Minnewashta are giving up sunfish in 18 to 20 feet. Work the rock pile on the southeast side of Parley with Beetle Spins for crappies. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on the points or weed edges of Pierson Lake, while bass fishing remains strong on the east side of Wasserman Lake, Pierson, and Steiger Lake with topwater baits during the evening hours.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Largemouth bass are hitting plastics on Prior Lake in 15 to 20 feet or topwater baits in 6 to 8 feet on Murphy Lake. Spinner baits are turning northern pike on the 8- to 12-foot weedlines of Lake O’Dowd and Cedar Lake. Look for panfish in the 8- to 12-foot weeds of Prior and Spring Lake.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096
Look for sunfish on the inside weedlines and crappies along deeper weed edges on the main lake reefs. You’ll find bigger bass and northern pike in the deep weeds or weed lines hitting a variety of artificial baits. Walleyes have bit less consistent, but some fish are being caught during low-light periods on the reefs such as Keg’s, North, and Anderson’s in 14 to 16 feet with fathead minnows, crawlers or leeches. Muskie reports have been limited.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Long-lining crankbaits or a spinner and nightcrawler is working best for walleyes in 18 to 23 feet on Lake Mary, Reno Lake, and Lake Andrew. You will find active fish in shallower water if it’s cloudy or windy. Bucktails are raising some muskies in less than 14 feet on Lake Miltona and Lobster Lake. Look for sunfish or bass during the day and crappies each evening on the 12- to 14-foot weedlines of most lakes.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Some sunfish are still being found along the shorelines, while others have moved to the weed edges on Clearwater Lake, Sugar Lake, Lake Sylvia, Maple Lake, and Lake Marie. Granite Lake, Big Swan Lake, and Sugar are giving up a few walleyes on live-bait rigs with leeches or crawlers in 18 to 26 feet. Plastics or topwater baits are turning largemouth bass, and sucker minnows are the ticket for pike on the weedlines of most lakes.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Walleyes are being taken in 12 to 20 feet on crawlers and leeches at Rush Lake, Marion Lake, and Otter Tail Lake. Bass are hitting spinnerbaits along the 8- to 11-foot weeds on Long Lake, West Battle Lake, and Otter Tail. Work 12 to 15 feet with spoons or sucker minnows for pike on Donald Lake, West Battle, and Otter Tail. Look for sunfish in the reeds and crappies along the 10- to 14-foot weedlines on West Battle, Marion, and Long. Buchertails continue to work best for muskies in 15 to 20 feet on West Battle.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
There are more bug hatches taking place on area lakes and that has continued to slow the walleye bite. Spinner rigs and crawlers are your best bet on the deep weed edges and sharp breaks in 14 to 22 feet. Jiggin’ Raps are also working on deep humps and bars if you find a pod of fish. Look to Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet for walleyes. Crappies and bluegills are scattered around deeper weed edges in 8 to 12 feet, while bass fishing remains strong with plastics off the deep weedlines during the day or with topwater baits up shallow early in the morning.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Hit the 15- to 20-foot weedlines with a spinner and crawler for walleyes at Gull Lake and Round Lake. Crappies and bluegills also are weedline-related on area lakes including Gilstead, Pimushe, and Gull. The 12- to 18-foot weedlines on North and South Twin lakes are kicking out largemouth bass and bluegills.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Leeches with spinners or slip bobbers are catching walleyes each evening in 7 feet or during the day in 16 to 24 feet at Gull Lake, North Long Lake, and Lake Edward. Sunfish are being found in less than 8 feet in the weeds on Nisswa Lake, North Long, Margaret Lake, and Cullen Lake. Bass remain active around the docks or weedlines of most lakes and some northern pike are being taken with spoons or bigger minnows in 10 to 15 feet on Edward, Gull, and North Long.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Walleyes are hitting spinners with leeches or crawlers early and late each day along the 8- to 10-foot weedlines on Cass Lake. If the wind is blowing, drift a jig and minnow in 8 to 12 feet for perch and an occasional walleye on Lake Andrusia, Wolf Lake, Pike Bay Lake, and Cass. Muskies have started chasing CowGirls off O’Neil’s Point, Horseshoe Bar, west side of Star Island, and Cedar Point on Cass. You’ll find bluegills on the 8- to 12-foot weed edges of Andrusia, Lake Thirteen, and Big Lake.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Look for a mixed bag of panfish on the 12- to 16-foot weedlines of Green Lake or the 8- to 10-foot weeds on Chisago Lake, North Lindstrom Lake, South Lindstrom Lake, and North Center Lake. Bass and northern pike remain weed-related and active in 8 to 16 feet on most lakes. A slip bobber and leech or live-bait rig and crawler are producing a few walleyes during the evening hours in 14 to 16 feet on Chisago, Green, North Center, and South Center Lake.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Look for walleyes to hit leeches or crawlers on Serpent Lake in 17 to 24 feet or jigs and plastics in the deeper holes on the Mississippi River. The river, Clearwater Lake, and Serpent are producing smallmouth bass, while the weedlines on Bay Lake are safe bets for largemouths. Crappies are somewhat active during the evenings along the 15- foot weedlines of Bay and Nokay Lake, but sunfish action has been slow. Rainbow trout are being caught about 15 to 25 feet down on leadcore and crankbaits on Pennington Pit and Sagamore Pit.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Muskie action has picked up with bucktails on the 12- to 15-foot weedlines at Pelican Lake and Big Detroit Lake. Walleyes have moved deeper, 15 to 20 feet, and they’re hitting leeches or crawlers on Sour Lake, Big Detroit, and Big Cormorant Lake. Look for crappies and sunfish over 15 to 20 feet on Tamarack Lake, Height of Land Lake, Rock Lake, and Rice Lake.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Leeches are producing walleyes in 15 to 20 feet of water on Island Lake, Boulder Lake, and Fish Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 30 to 40 feet of water on Island or over 20 feet of water on Fish. Toss buzz baits along the shorelines or points on Island for smallmouth bass. On Lake Superior, reports have been best about 10 miles out of town for lake trout and coho salmon with spoons working best 30 to 60 feet down over deeper water.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Use minnows for northern pike and topwater baits for bass on the 8- to 12-foot weedlines of Mitchell Lake, Lori Lake, Green Lake, and Little Elk Lake. Crappies and sunfish are set up in the 12- to 14-foot weeds on Green, Little Elk, and Blue Lake. Water levels have come up on the Rum and Mississippi rivers, but they continue to kick out smallmouth bass.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Spinner rigs with leeches or nightcrawlers are turning walleyes on the 15- to 20-foot mud areas of Triangle Lake, Ensign Lake, and Basswood Lake. The shallow weedbeds on Disappointment Lake, Clearwater Lake, and Lake Four are giving up pike on spinners or spoons. Bass are hitting topwater baits at Basswood, Burntside Lake, and Big Moose Lake. Lake trout are being taken by trolling spoons or vertical jigging bucktails over 40 to 80 feet at Trout Lake and Knife Lake. Look for sunfish and crappies in the shallow weeds on One Pine Lake, Birch Lake, and Johnson Lake.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Trolling crankbaits in 8 to 10 feet near the bridge on Roosevelt Lake has produced northern pike. Hit the lily pads on the west side of Lake Emily for sunfish and smallmouth bass are being caught with plastics in 12 to 15 feet on Mitchell Lake. Small leeches are the ticket for crappies on West Fox Lake in 8 to 12 feet.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Hit George Lake, Sisseton Lake, and Budd Lake for crappies, sunfish, and yellow bass in 10 to 15 feet during the day or less than 6 feet each evening. Jigs and plastics are turning a few walleyes on Tuttle Lake in 4 to 6 feet or Big Twin Lake in 6 to 10 feet. Channel catfish remain an easy catch along the shorelines of Budd, Hall Lake, and Amber Lake.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Largemouth bass are hitting plastics or topwater baits on the weedlines of Pleasant Lake, Anna Lake, and Johnson Lake. Sunfish are being found in less than 6 feet on Middle Lake, Long Lake by Dalton, and Wall Lake. Live-bait rigs are turning walleyes during the day in 20 to 30 feet, as are crankbaits in 6 to 8 feet during low-light periods at Ten Mile Lake, Pebble Lake, and Wall. Muskie and crappie action has been slow.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA
Lindy Rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers are producing walleyes on the 18- to 20-foot humps of Bowstring Lake, Round Lake, and Lake Pokegama. Crappies and bluegills are hitting in the thick weeds of most small lakes, including Little Ball Club and Six Mile. Throw bucktails on the weedlines of Moose Lake and Deer Lake for muskies, while bass fishing remains strong on all lakes from the shorelines out to 15 feet.
Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710
GREY EAGLE AREA
Walleye reports have slowed, but a few fish can be had with slip bobbers and leeches in the 8- foot weeds at Swan Lake, Big Birch Lake, and Two Rivers Lake during low-light periods. You’ll find crappies and sunfish in 15 to 20 feet on Pine Lake, Mound Lake, Big Swan, Big Birch, and Two Rivers. Look for sunfish on Moose Lake and Pillsbury Lake in 15 to 18 feet, while northern pike and bass are hitting on the weedlines of most lakes.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Spinner rigs with leeches or crawlers are producing a few walleyes over 18 to 22 feet on Woman Lake and Little Boy Lake. Largemouth bass are hitting surface baits on top of the deeper weeds at Birch Lake, Woman, and Pleasant Lake, while Baby Lake, Stoney Lake, and Ten Mile Lake are producing smallmouth bass in 5 to 12 feet. Crappies and sunfish are hitting during the evening hours on the 6- to 12-foot cabbage at Birch, Webb Lake, and Mule Lake. Muskie reports have been limited this week.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle(218) 675-6176
Topwater presentations are producing smallmouth bass on the North Branch of the Root River. Trout anglers are using caddis replicas early and late each day or terrestrial flies such as ants or beetles during the day with success. All area streams are clear and fishing well.
Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101
MADISON LAKE AREA
Madison Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish along the 12- to 14-foot weedlines off Church Bar, while crankbaits or crawlers are turning walleyes off Miller’s Point in 15 to 18 feet. Hit 10 to 12 feet for panfish and pike or the south end lily pads for largemouth bass on Duck Lake. At Lake Washington, spinners and crawlers are triggering walleyes off Second and Third points in 15 to 20 feet, while crappies are being found suspended south of Grassy Island over 18 to 20 feet.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Look for sunfish in 6 to 8 feet on Ann Lake, Knife Lake, and Fish Lake. A few walleyes have been plucked from Knife Lake with crankbaits in 8 to 10 feet, while sucker minnows continue to produce northern pike in 6 to 8 feet on Knife and Fish.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Big Stone Lake continues to produce perch in 12 to 14 feet using chain baits and tungsten jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Bluegills seem to be in the shallow weeds and can be caught with a slip bobber and small leeches or small piece of crawler. Trolling crankbaits or spinners and crawlers on the north end of Big Stone is producing some walleyes in 11 to 14 feet.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Walleyes continue to be pulled from the 14- to 18-foot weedlines on spinner rigs tipped with leeches, crawlers or shiner minnows at Long Lake, Fish Hook Lake, and Potato Lake. Muskie reports have improved with bucktails on the rocks or cabbage areas of Big Mantrap Lake and Many Point Lake. Crappies are being found on the 8- to 12-cabbage beds at Lake Belle Taine and the Crow Wing Chain, while bass and pike action is strong on the weedlines of most lakes.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Jiggin’ Raps, spinners and crawlers or a jig and minnow continue to produce walleyes in 14 to 24 feet on Big Pine Lake, Star Lake, and Rush Lake. You can expect a mixed bag of panfish off the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Star, Rush, Little Pine Lake, and Marion Lake. Bass, and northern pike continue to be caught on most lakes in 10 to 14 feet.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Significant rains have dirtied the water on the Mississippi River, but live bait or crankbaits are producing some walleyes along the shorelines of Lake Pepin in less than 10 feet. The bays and docks throughout Pepin are giving up panfish and a few northern pike as well.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Look for sunfish on the 10- to 12-foot weedlines of Rice Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Grand Lake, Pearl Lake, and Cedar Island Lake. Walleyes are hitting crankbaits or live-bait rigs with leeches and crawlers on Rice Lake from 8 to 22 feet. The shallow weed edges or 15- to 20-foot breaks on Lake Koronis are producing walleyes as well. Horseshoe is giving up a few walleyes in 7 to 12 feet, bass fishing remains strong on the weedlines of most lakes, and channel catfish are hitting throughout the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes in 4 to 15 feet.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Hit the weedlines for sunfish on Lake Osakis, Fairy Lake, Lily Lake, Long Lake, or Maple and for crappies at Long Bridge Lake, Sauk Lake, and Black Oak Lake. Leeches are producing walleyes on Sauk in 8 to 16 feet and at Osakis in 18 to 30 feet during the day or 6 to 8 feet each evening. Large sucker minnows are turning northern pike on the weedlines of Long Bridge, Sauk, Osakis, and Westport Lake.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Walleyes and crappies have started hitting during the evening hours on the weedlines throughout Fish Trap Lake. Topwater baits have produced a few muskies in KOA Bay on Fish Trap as well. Hit the rock piles at nighttime on Lake Alexander with leeches for walleyes or the 8- to 12-foot weedlines on Pine Lake and Stanchfield Lake for sunfish. Smallmouth bass are being caught below Blanchard Dam on the Mississippi River.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Walleyes are hitting crankbaits in 16 to 18 feet or spinners and leeches in 20 to 22 feet during the day on Lake Minnewaska. Walleyes also can be had during low-light periods on Minnewaska with shallow-running crankbaits in 8 to 10 feet. Bass and sunfish are still being found in the reeds or around docks on Minnewaska. Cut bait is turning channel catfish for anglers fishing from shore on the west side of Lake Emily.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Good walleye action continues with nightcrawlers on Norway Lake in 8 to 12 feet, 8 to 10 feet at Eagle Lake, 8 to 15 feet on Diamond Lake, or 10 to 14 feet on Big Kandi Lake and Lake Elizabeth. Sunfish, bass, and a few crappies are being taken off the 8- to 12-foot weedlines of Diamond, Norway, Games Lake, Foot Lake, and Florida Lake.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle (320) 235-4097
Crankbaits are producing walleyes in 6 to 10 feet on Lake Shetek, Yankton Lake, and Lake Benton. Walleyes also are going during the evening hours along the shorelines of Dead Coon Lake, Wood Lake, Lady Slipper Lake, and Grove Lake. Northern pike action has picked up on Dead Coon and Benton, while bass are going on East and West Twin lakes and Wood.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880